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Assimilation through Marriage

  • Gil S. Epstein
  • Renana Lindner Pomerantz

During the last few decades cultural changes have been taking place in many countries due to migration. The degree to which the foreign culture influences the local culture, differs across countries. This paper shows how the willingness of locals and immigrants to intermarry influences the culture and the national identity of the host country. We use a search-theoretic approach to show that, even in situations where migrants and natives prefer to marry within their own community, the search process may lead to intermarriage. The exogamy can take on two forms: either migrants and natives each hold on to their own culture or the immigrants take on the natives' culture. In the first case we will see new cultures developing and the local culture will not survive over time. In the second case the local culture will survive. We show the conditions for assimilation versus no assimilation between the groups.

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Review of International Economics.

Volume (Year): 21 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 (05)
Pages: 191-203

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Handle: RePEc:bla:reviec:v:21:y:2013:i:2:p:191-203
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  1. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, June.
  2. Epstein, Gil S., 2002. "Informational Cascades and Decision to Migrate," IZA Discussion Papers 445, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Shimer, R. & Smith, L., 1997. "Assortative Matching and Search," Working papers 97-2b, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  4. Thomas Bauer & Gil S. Epstein & Ira N. Gang, 2006. "The Influence of Stocks and Flows on Migrants’ Location Choices," CEDI Discussion Paper Series 06-13, Centre for Economic Development and Institutions(CEDI), Brunel University.
  5. Epstein, Gil S. & Gang, Ira N., 2010. "Migration and Culture," IZA Discussion Papers 5123, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Chiswick, Barry R, 1977. "Sons of Immigrants: Are They at an Earnings Disadvantage?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(1), pages 376-80, February.
  7. Furtado, Delia & Theodoropoulos, Nikolaos, 2010. "Why Does Intermarriage Increase Immigrant Employment? The Role of Networks," IZA Discussion Papers 5080, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Carmel Chiswick, 2009. "The economic determinants of ethnic assimilation," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 22(4), pages 859-880, October.
  9. Meng, Xin & Meurs, Dominique, 2006. "Intermarriage, Language, and Economic Assimilation Process: A Case Study of France," IZA Discussion Papers 2461, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Bisin, A. & Verdier, T., 1999. "Beyond the Melting Pot : Cultural Transmission, Marriage, and the Evolution of Ethnic and Religious Traits," DELTA Working Papers 1999-10, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  11. Xin Meng & Robert G. Gregory, 2005. "Intermarriage and the Economic Assimilation of Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(1), pages 135-176, January.
  12. Paul W. Miller, 1999. "Immigration Policy and Immigrant Quality: The Australian Points System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 192-197, May.
  13. Furtado, Delia & Theodoropoulos, Nikolaos, 2009. "I'll Marry You If You Get Me a Job: Marital Assimilation and Immigrant Employment Rates," IZA Discussion Papers 3951, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. Tracy J. Cornelius, 2003. "A Search Model of Marriage and Divorce," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(1), pages 135-155, January.
  15. Epstein, Gil S & Lecker, Tikva, 2001. "Multi-Generation Model of Immigrant Earnings: Theory and Application," CEPR Discussion Papers 2750, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Bauer, Thomas K. & Lofstrom, Magnus & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2000. "Immigration Policy, Assimilation of Immigrants and Natives' Sentiments towards Immigrants: Evidence from 12 OECD-Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 187, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  17. Burdett, Ken & Coles, Melvyn G, 1997. "Marriage and Class," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 141-68, February.
  18. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521640404 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Ira N. Gang & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 1999. "Is Child Like Parent? Educational Attainment and Ethnic Origin," Departmental Working Papers 199614, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  20. Edward P. Lazear, 1999. "Culture and Language," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages S95-S126, December.
  21. Anas, Alex, 2002. "Prejudice, exclusion, and compensating transfers: the economics of ethnic segregation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 409-432, November.
  22. Chiswick, Barry R, 1978. "The Effect of Americanization on the Earnings of Foreign-born Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 897-921, October.
  23. Diamond, Peter A, 1982. "Aggregate Demand Management in Search Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(5), pages 881-94, October.
  24. Mortensen, Dale T & Pissarides, Christopher A, 1999. "Unemployment Responses to 'Skill-Biased' Technology Shocks: The Role of Labour Market Policy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(455), pages 242-65, April.
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